U. S. Navy Lieutenant Gregg Masterman (Robert Taylor), of THE Harvard and Boston Back Bay Mastermans, learned about the sea while winning silver cups sailing his yacht. He climbs swiftly in...
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U. S. Navy Lieutenant Gregg Masterman (Robert Taylor), of THE Harvard and Boston Back Bay Mastermans, learned about the sea while winning silver cups sailing his yacht. He climbs swiftly in rank, and is now Junior Aide to Rear Admiral Stephen Thomas (Charles Laughton). In contrast,Lieutenant Commander Martin J. Roberts (Brian Donlevy), enlisted in World War I, and worked his way up gradually. He retired in 1935 but has been recalled as Executive Officer of the destroyer "Cranshaw." Impressed by Roberts' vigor, the rear admiral raises him to command of the destroyer "Warren,", an over-age World War I ship that has been recommissioned. Master laughs at Roberts' new command, only to have the Admiral assign him as the Executive Officer of the "Warren," under Roberts. The ship is to join a convoy which has already left Hawaii, bound for the United States. The Flagship of the convoy is the cruiser, "Chattanooga,' with Admiral Thomas in command. On the way, a lifeboat is sighted. From it are... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This movie is in many ways reminiscent of several of Robert Taylor's previous films--in particular A YANK AT OXFORD. Like YANK, in this film Taylor is a bit of a "pretty boy" who is more concerned with sucking up to the navy brass and parties than ever going into action. However, with a decrepit old destroyer about to be re-commissioned, his commanding officer (Charles Laughton) assigns him to be the first officer--and help him be a REAL navy man. At first, Taylor thinks this is beneath him and balks at the assignment, but through the film he (not surprisingly) proves he's made of tougher material and by the end of the film Taylor achieves a truly impossible deed--taking out a Japanese battleship with this lowly destroyer.
While there is a lot of predictability about the plot and some silly clichés concerning picking up some women and babies, this film has a lot going for it. First, there are four exceptional actors all at the top of their game (Robert Taylor, Charles Laughton, Brian Donlevy and Walter Brennan). Second, the action scenes were generally exceptional in quality. While some of the scenes were obviously models (particularly before the big battle), most of the special effects were exceptional and really felt and looked real. Third, while formulaic, it was GOOD formula and featured exceptional dialog for a WWII propaganda film. All these elements worked together to make a very enjoyable film.
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